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Autobiography of a Yogi Paperback – October 22, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The original text of Yogananda's classic introduction to Eastern mysticism.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

After half a century in print, this widely acclaimed autobiography is now available in a superb audio translation narrated by Academy AwardR-winning actor Ben Kingsley. The work is enduringly popular because it introduces millions of readers to Eastern spiritual thought. Yogananda's masterly storytelling epitomizes the Indian oral tradition with its wit, charm, and compassionate wisdom. The yogi begins by showing how his childhood experiences in turn-of-the-century India produced a spiritual youth in search of an enlightened teacher, continues with an account of his years of training in the hermitage of a revered master, and concludes with the highlights of a period, beginning in 1920, during which he lived and taught in America. Yogananda sensitively interprets not only his own spiritual evolution but also his relationship with elements of the West's spiritual tradition, such as the story of Adam and Eve, providing a penetrating look at the ultimate mysteries of human existence. Bibliographical footnotes, which would have interrupted Kingsley's magnificent narration, are thoughtfully included in an accompanying booklet. This extraordinary work will greatly enrich any library.?James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Imprint unknown; New edition edition (October 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840137193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840137194
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,030 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,917,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

269 of 282 people found the following review helpful By on November 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like Gandhi, Yogananda writes humbly and includes his foibles and the pratfalls he takes as he journeys through life's lessons. In fact, unless you read elsewhere about his life you won't realize how much he understates his own accomplishments while he honors other spiritual seekers and teachers he encounters.
His stories of encounters with amazing saints of all regions and religions are spell-binding, and you may find yourself (like me) devouring the whole book on your first read -- just reveling in the wonders of these true spiritual seekers. On successive readings I delved deeper into the equally fascinating footnotes, learning about the exotic realms of Indian spirituality and its unexpected parallels with the original Christian teachings of Christ, St. John, and St. Paul.
In fact, the countless strata of insights and implications that surface with repeated readings of Autobiography of a Yogi argue for spending a few more dollars on the trade paperback rather than the mass market paperback edition, since you'll want to return numerous times over the years. The Self-Realization Fellowship editions are to be preferred over others. Yogananda himself started that organization (SRF), and the award-winning quality of SRF editing and printing shines through them - in contrast to bootlegged editions printed up by renegade outfits.
In all my reading in spirituality, yoga, and comparative religion, I have discovered no work that so completely fulfills Carl Jung's prophecy that yoga science (the whole science, not just the athletic postures) will offer you ''undreamed-of possibilities'' as Yogananda's autobiography.
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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Richard Pinneau on August 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Twenty-five years after my first discovery of this transformative volume, I would like to supplement my original review with a few additional considerations for prospective readers.

Always averse to things religious (as being arbitrarily authoritarian) and spiritual (as being delusional), I was at an initial loss to explain why this book riveted my attention. Yoga was way too 'airy-fairy' for my hard-headed mind. Somehow I was won over within a few sentences, spellbound by a spiritual author who wrote humbly, declined to adopt the self-righteousness of many a preacher, and yet related astounding spiritual events and principles - dating back to his infancy.

I was impressed to hear deep respect for the paths of all truth-seekers: of Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems, Christians, Jews; of humanists and scientists, transcendentalists and missionaries. His accounts were so personable and reasonable, his interdisciplinary insights so compelling, that I found myself questioning all materialist prejudices and weighing seriously his other-worldly claims.

During the first few chapters, in the background of my mind, I was quietly weighing explanations for this book, this mind, this spirit: was he a liar? a lunatic? or can the world really hold such miracles of life and Spirit as he depicts here? With liars and lunatics I'd had way too much acquaintance and knew: this was written by neither of these. I confronted myself: must I not overthrow my narrow, long-entrenched scientist's view of world and life, origin and death, reality and truth?

Through college and graduate school I'd always craved to meet a real leader - one who embodied Truth, exuded wisdom, lived a Gandhi-like life - that might transform this modern world.
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104 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Monkey on April 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I would say that this has been one of the best "books" I've ever "read." I got the CD version, and I've had other books on cd that I've listened to in the car, but I was definitely not expecting a 15 disc set with a book of notes about certain parts of each chapter written by Yogananda. It took me nearly 2 weeks to listen to it in my car, but it was the only thing I listened to. Yogananda's spiritual journey is the most fantastic I've ever encountered. Anybody who's open minded to the mysteries of life and nature will benefit from this book. And the author doesn't masacre Sanskrit words and names with his light British accent, but in fact, seems to have an excellent understanding of translingual pronounciations.
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90 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Professor Meledath Damodaran on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi" is undoubtedly the best book I have ever read. The first time that I read it, I was so mesmerized by it that I had a hard time to put down the book until I had finished reading it. Since then I have reread it a few times. The book, you may say, touched my very soul. After reading the book, I signed up with Self-Realization Fellowship, Yogananda's Los Angeles based spiritual organization, to receive the weekly Lessons that the great saint had left for us before he left his body. What those lessons have done for me, there are no words to express.
This book is also a great contribution to the cause of world peace and understanding among the people of different faiths and creeds; the abstract concept of world brotherhood becomes more real and immediate a concept after reading this book. I would recommend anyone who has not read this book -- no matter what his or her creed maybe -- to order a copy right away; this may be the best investment in one's life!
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